Building a baked anode material with PFC

Download Cutsheet
Client Name 
Hydro Primary Metal Technology
Software Used 
Project Description 

A baked anode is made of a complex material, obtained by mixing and baking different petrol coke grains, with different size distributions, with a pitch. Hydro PMT needs to study how cracks propagate in such a material – both within and between grains. Representing properly the non-spherical grain shapes, as well as the porosity, both between grains and within the coke grains, are therefore prerequisites.

Reproducing the true experimental process would be way too cumbersome. How to obtain a representative geometry without simulating this process?

Itasca's Role 

Develop an environment using a two-dimensional version of PFC to build a geometric description of an anode. The anode volume is represented using a Bonded-Particle Modeling (BPM) approach. The complex environment must be able to:

  1. Create irregularly shaped grains
  2. Reproduce a desired grain size distribution for each material
  3. Reproduce a desired volume fraction for each material and void content
  4. Reproduce a desired porosity inside grains
  5. Generate different types of geometries:
    • Randomly distributed grains
    • Grains grouped in different ways to simulate segregation
Project Results 

A new methodology creates a representative anode material geometry.

  1. Start with a Voronoï tessellation of the volume
  2. Reconstruct the anode geometry
    • Grow grains according to the desired size distribution and volume fraction for each material
    • Grow voids in remaining cells (the reminder constitutes the matrix binder phase)
    • Add pores inside grains
  3. Overlay geometry information onto the BPM matrix
Project Image(s)